Entertainment behind the scenes
“American Idol” unveiled a bold format change on Wednesday night, allowing the show’s four judges to “save” a worthy contestant from elimination once this season, potentially altering the singing competition’s final outcome.
The change marks a major shift for “Idol,” which has always allowed viewers to vote by phone and text message for who will stay. The idea, host Ryan Seacrest said, is to prevent shocker rejections such as when Chris Daughtry, now one of “Idol’s” most successful alumni, came in fourth place during the show’s fifth season.
But despite a rule change that promises to change the course of one lucky contestant’s “Idol” run, the judges declined to wield their new power on Wednesday night, allowing Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nunez to be the first victims among the show’s Top 13 singers.
“Sorry, baby, you’re headed home,” Judge Randy Jackson said to a tearful Murray after the judges deliberated on whether to save her.
Now that “American Idol” has eliminated the dross, it has 13 top contestants and the reality singing competition is in full swing.
What that means is the judges get more hyperbolic about how seriously everyone has to take the competition, and the video packages on the contestants get more personal, taking viewers into their homes and giving mini biographies on each one.
Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nunez moved on to the next round on “American Idol” Wednesday, but none of those names came as a surprise and the focus moved to the eight contestants who will compete in next week’s “wildcard” round.
Did the judges pick the right contestants?
The always-dramatic Tatiana Del Toro immediately burst into tears again at getting a second shot while Anoop Desai, who Cowell called “original, likeable, talented”, looked stunned when his name was called.
“American Idol” fans get an extra night of action this week in the form of a bonus episode on Thursday night, so the judges can bring back three contestants previously eliminated by the fans. The wildcard round will likely offer a second shot at fame for a couple contestants from Tuesday night’s show, because the judges praised half of the 12 singers, and all but three of them will be eliminated by fan voting on Wednesday night.
So who will sail through to the show’s “Top 12″ on Wednesday and who will rise from “Idol” banishment on Thursday?